Blog Archives

Zoo visit! What kids loved in #Berlin 3/3

Both the kids were absolutely certain of one item on the Berlin must-do list: a visit to the Zoo. Famed to have the most comprehensive collection of animals in the world, Berlin’s Zoologischer Garten (quite a mouthful and Udai practised saying it many times every day, with hilarious results!) is the oldest zoo in Germany, with an interesting history. And true to form, we saw many many species I had never thought I’d see outside of my television screen!

The children were delighted and we spent an entire day there, happy to observe the animals and the humans watching the animals. Of course, a zoo cannot compare to watching animals in the wild, but from an educational perspective, I’m glad we were exposed to such an astonishing array of species. The primate house was particularly impressive, so was the section with night animals where we saw a kinkajou. Now, the kinkajou is an animal we read about in one of the children’s story books and we were all four simultaneously awestruck when we saw one in the flesh! Other highlights were the little joey in her Mumma Kangaroo’s pouch, several types of zebras, the giraffe whose neck wasn’t long enough for Aadyaa and the polar bear, for who we trekked the length and breadth of the fairly large zoo!

Disclaimer: The pictures do not do justice to the fair weather, the well kept environs of the Berlin Zoo and the generally happy state of the animals and those who were out to see them!

Look who we saw first!

Look who we saw first!

Roald Dahl set up some mean expectations about the length of a griaffe's neck when we wrote 'The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me'

Roald Dahl set up some mean expectations about the length of a giraffe’s neck when we wrote ‘The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me’

Udai read every board and discovered that Man was the worst of the lot, going around hunting and killing animals, sometimes for no apparent reason!

Udai read every board and discovered that Man was the worst of the lot, going around hunting and killing animals, sometimes for no apparent reason!

Inhabitants of the primate house

Inhabitants of the primate house

The grand old orangutan showed us a dance with a towel and generally was quite the entertainer. His movements were similar to Tai chi!

The grand old orangutan showed us a dance with a towel and generally was quite the entertainer. His movements were similar to Tai chi!

The gorillas only showed us their backs, so the kids climbed all over this one!

The gorillas only showed us their backs, so the kids climbed all over this one!

_DSC7112_DSC7114

Informative, in case you are on a mission to see all the zoos in the world!

Informative, in case you are on a mission to see all the zoos in the world!

Cute, aren't they?

Cute, aren’t they?

What's the fuss about? Puzzled all the eager human faces staring at her!

What’s the fuss about? Puzzled all the eager human faces staring at her!

Reflecting

Reflecting

The pranced about, these Indochinese tigers. Not a patch on the Royal Bengal Tiger, if you've seen one!

The pranced about, these Indochinese tigers. Not a patch on the Royal Bengal Tiger, if you’ve seen one!

Two-horned, no less!

Two-horned, no less!

Hi Joey! We waited 10 minutes for this Roo to turn around and show us her baby :)

Hi Joey! We waited 10 minutes for this Roo to turn around and show us her baby đŸ™‚

Have you seen ostrich babies?

Have you seen ostrich babies?

Check out my a$$, say the Zebra, ignoring us completely!

Check out my a$$, say the Zebra, ignoring us completely!

These little ones were just thriving on attention...

These little ones were just thriving on attention, jumping in and out of the water deftly and showing off their swimming and strutting skills!

This one just slept. If she could have, Aadyaa would have walked right over and shaken him awake. Was probably way too warm for him!

This one just slept. If she could have, Aadyaa would have walked right over and shaken him awake. Was probably way too warm for him!

Aadyaa's impersonating a pelican!

Aadyaa’s impersonating a pelican!

And that's our Berlin Zoo selfie! Signing off now...

And that’s our Berlin Zoo selfie! Signing off now…

Animals in Nathupur village- Adorable & funny!

The focus of my fieldwork in Nathupur village is people, their stories, their experiences, their lives, their aspirations and disappointments and their physical conditions of living. It’s a fascinating checkerboard of ever-expanding scope, facets within facets and many hidden nuances I sense I need to dig into to really understand the churnings of life as a migrant and life as a landlord, those being the two overarching actors I intend to study.

Relatively simple and equally interesting, however, are the non-human inhabitants of the village. Ubiquitous, animals stare at you, lie in your way and follow you around. Villagers love them and domesticate them, ignore them and co-exist with them. I find it really amusing and here are a few clicks to share the hilarity of these creatures with you!

DSC_6568

One little monkey….sitting on a wall…

The whole picture!

The whole picture!

Bhaainns! They are everywhere, placidly chewing away...

Bhaainns! They are everywhere, placidly chewing away…

Or sleeping...

Or lazing away….

And of course, the stray dogs...

And of course, the stray dogs…

Ghodas too...a few homes have well groomed horses...

Ghodas too…a few homes have well groomed horses…

And gadhas....the man on the donkey thought I was crazy, taking a picture of him and his beast of burden

And gadhas….the man on the donkey thought I was crazy, taking a picture of him and his beast of burden

This one takes the cake! Chooze! These little chicks were being kept by a migrant family in a bucket in their one-room tenement. During the day, they took them up on the roof and left them in the chicken coop for a while...

This one takes the cake! Chooze! These little chicks were being kept by a migrant family in a bucket in their one-room tenement. During the day, they took them up on the roof and left them in the chicken coop for a while…

Creatures and colours of small town India: Sangli Snapshots- Apr 18, 2012

For big city people like me, forays into small town India are endlessly fascinating. This time, I swear I was on my way from Pune to Sangli without even really knowing how to locate the town on the map! Now I know that the Sangli-Kupwad-Miraj urban boundaries are home to about half a million people. That more familiar names like Kolhapur (chappals) and Pandharpur (reigning deity Vithoba!) are neighboring cities. That sugarcane and turmeric are the flavors of this area and its main industry. The feel of the city is semi-rural and people are simple, expressive and friendly.

Here are a few snapshots of the creatures (human and otherwise) and frames my lens encountered in Sangli!

Quaint, decorated carts selling bananas...in the mid-morning heat, this guy was nearly asleep though!

Volunteer workers from the slum explain the process of convincing communities to move to flats. Their eyes lit up!

Life as a construction worker...

Radiant "bhabhi" again; a volunteer with Shelter Associates, she really caught my fancy with her brisk mannerisms and quick smile!

Construction workers framed against the setting sun, almost as if they were posing!

Gujarati contractor and labor on site; we tried hard to bring a smile to this girl's face, but she wasn't obliging!

And life goes on....

I could not figure out if this one was threatening me or thinking of yummy grass....her horns were impressive though! We also learnt these buffaloes charge is you carry a black umbrella đŸ™‚

A semi-rural existence...this one flitted away from my lens....

An old colonial structure- A Hindu dharamshala and sanatorium!

%d bloggers like this: